Category: | The Writing Life

Aiming for 100 Rejections in 2017

100 rejectionsUp until last night, I was planning to write a post about how discouraged I am with literary journals and the number of times my short stories have been rejected. I was seriously considering taking a break from submitting short stories. Maybe it’s just not my thing, you know?

But then I came across a post on Literary Hub titled “Why You Should Aim for 100 Rejections a Year.”

Rejections in 2016

100 rejections a year!?! That’s a lot of rejections.

I pulled up my handy submission spreadsheet to see how many I have collected in 2016 so far. Each one is such a slap in the face that it feels like a lot, but a quick count revealed only 35.

Only 35.

That’s a lot, but it’s not 100.

Apparently, the idea behind aiming for 100 rejections is that it’s a way to shift your focus. If you shoot for 100 rejections, you will get some acceptances along the way. Right? But what if you don’t? I didn’t get a single acceptance in 2016. Not one.

One in Forty?

But maybe my acceptance rate is one in forty. I’ve heard numbers like that batted around by very respectable writers. If that’s the case, then I theoretically have five more rejections to go before I can expect an acceptance.

But it’s not just a numbers game is it? There is a level of skill that is required. And that is why rejections hurt. To a writer, rejection means “not good enough.” And what if it’s true? That is the question that plagues us all. What if it’s true that we’re no good?

Here’s where I land on that one: it doesn’t matter.

100 Rejections in 2017

There will always be someone who thinks my writing isn’t good. And I will always keep writing. I will keep setting goals for myself, keep striving to be a better writer.

Given the imminent end of the year, I have been thinking about what goals I’d like to set for 2017. Finishing my novel and getting it out into the world is the biggie, but there’s room for one more.

100 Rejections in 2017. Who’s with me? We can cheer each other on, commiserate and celebrate. I’m thinking #100in2017 for those of us on Twitter. What do you think?

Continue Reading

Please Don’t Send Your NaNoWriMo Manuscript to Agents

NaNoWriMo manuscriptIt’s December 1, and for a lot of writers out there, including myself, that means NaNoWriMo is over. Did you do it? Did you hit your goal? I made it across the finish line mid-day yesterday, just in time. For everyone else who did (and even for those who gave it their best shot) I’m sending a big old buddha-fist-bump your way. Eff-yeah! You did it! You should do something to celebrate: go out for drinks, get a massage, buy yourself a tub of cookie dough ice cream and go to town. The one thing you should not do, under any circumstances, is send your NaNoWriMo manuscript to agents. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

I Will Not Give Up

I will not give upI woke up at 3am yesterday.

Now, you know I’m a big proponent of getting up early to write, but that’s just ridiculous. I couldn’t sleep. November is always a really busy month, what with the family coming in for Thanksgiving, and my husband’s birthday always falling right around the holiday. Then my boy’s birthday is in early December so I need to put his party together. To add to the fun this year, we have a new puppy, I’m doing NaNoWriMo, and oh, yeah, my husband ruined his knee playing soccer and had to go in for surgery yesterday. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

Shop Indies First

Shop Indies FirstI know a lot of you will be shopping this weekend. I will not. I will be doing my holiday shopping like a sane person, in my pajamas, on cyber Monday. That said, I think everyone, shoppers and enochlophobics alike, should all plan to stop by their local independent bookstore this Saturday for an Indies First event. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

Lit Crawl LA 2016

Lit Crawl LA 2016
Last night I crawled the streets of North Hollywood with a few hundred other book fiends for the Lit Crawl LA 2016. Last year I heard about it two days after it was over, so this year I planned ahead. (By the way, if you missed it, consider signing up for my LitLifeLA email update – it goes out every Monday with a list of the week’s upcoming literary events in Los Angeles.)

I started at Blastoff Comics for a reading titled Weird and Wicked. My friend from way back, Laura Bahr, performed with five other authors. The whole thing was really well organized, and each reading only took about 5 minutes, leaving us plenty of time to make our leisurely way to the next venue. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

NaNoWriMo 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016I’ve never done NaNoWriMo. At least, not really. And I’ve been losing sleep over whether I should join up for NaNoWriMo 2016.

Previous NaNoWriMo Fails

The main reason I’ve never participated is that, since I’ve been aware of the challenge, I’ve been trying to finish this damn novel and I was hesitant to start something new. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

The Elevator Pitch

elevator pitchIn the time since I started my novel, I have honed my elevator pitch. After eight years working on it, I thought I was getting pretty good at it. Every time someone asked “so, what’s your novel about?” I practiced giving them the short version. But turns out – I’ve been doing it wrong.

Here’s what I usually say: It’s a story about a young woman who inherits her grandfather’s ostrich farm in the mojave.

Short, sweet, to the point. But from what I learned at the WOTS conference last weekend, plot is only half of it. And it’s the least important half. I’ve left out the emotional story entirely. How did I not realize this? Continue Reading →

Continue Reading